The power of God’s Word to change lives is remarkable. When the book of the law was discovered buried in the bowels of the temple, it was brought to King Josiah. The priest read it, word for word, to Josiah! It deeply convicted him and he dedicated himself to living his life according to its teachings. He immediately recognized the value of the teaching and dedicated himself to follow its instructions “with all his heart and soul.” He then called all the people together and read it, word for word, out loud, to them.  He called them to make a similar commitment. Because of his commitment to God’s Word, God removed the pending disaster that had been planned for Judah. He answered Josiah’s prayer and blessed his life and his generation with peace and success. He found in God’s Word all he needed for a productive successful life.

I’m always telling people that about the bible. In it is all you’ll need for a happy, successful and prosperous life. I’m not talking about success as it’s defined in the world.  I’m talking about the success where it really matters, at home, in my relationships, and wit God. I’m talking about the kind of prosperity that isn’t subject to the DOW or the NASDAQ. I’m not talking about happiness through physical pleasures, but the kind of settled joy that comes from enjoying communion with God and others. It’s all there! It’s in God’s Word. Everything we need is tucked between those pages.

So often I meet people whose lives are in shambles because they’ve ignored God’s Word. Like Judah before Josiah, catastrophe looms on the horizon. I say “read God’s Word.” Many see this as another cliché of a religious fanatic. Many say, “I do, I do” and yet they never find what they truly need. I feel like the father who sent his son off to college with a bible advising him that he’d find all the help he needs in those pages.  The son would call home for money. The father asked if he’d been reading his bible. The boy said he had. The father would recommend chapter and verse and encourage him to read it, but the boy insisted he’d read it, but he still needed the money. When he came home from the semester break, his father told him he knew that he wasn’t reading his bible. How? He had tucked $20 dollar bills be each verse he’d recommended.

When we pray for help from God, sometimes I think he asks “Have your read your bible?”

“This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.” 1 John 4:10-11(NLT)